Language and Arts!
In past years, Carclew has played a lead role to facilitate teaching and recording of Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Inma and languages across the APY Lands, through the Tjitjiku Inma project and the creation of a trilingual learning resource.
In partnership with Lee-Ann Buckskin & Associates, Carclew is proud to be in the midst of phase two of this important project with Tjitjiku Tjukurpa (The Children’s Dreaming) Project.
Under the guidance of cultural custodians, Tjitjiku Tjukurpa has focused on working with children from Amata, Pukatja and Mimili Communities to teach and record ancient Inma in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, through exploration into the Seven Sisters Dreaming from this region.
Thirty-four Anangu young people undertook an 8-day journey in June 2019, tracking the Seven Sisters Songline from Iron Knob through to Atila and ending at the sacred Cave Hill site near Amata. << READ THE MEDIA RELEASE>>
Along the way, stops were made to learn Inma – song, dance and walka – from significant cultural custodians. A key outcome is the development of a digital resource, which aims to better assist community and educators in teaching Aboriginal content in the classroom. The digital resource is currently in development, with outcomes set to be launched in Amata, in June 2021.
Following the journey, children participated in workshops that devised contemporary reimaginings of the Seven Sisters Dreaming. With Amata focusing on Inma dance with Tapaya Edwards and Rhoda Tjitayi; Mimili on Inma song with Electric Fields’ Zaachariaha Fielding and Pukatja on claymation animations with animator Jonathan Daw. Project outcomes will be presented in 2021.
Tjitjiku Tjukurpa has involved 4 key projects:
The Excursion – 16-23 June 2019
The project kicked-off with a group of thirty-four children from associated communities undertaking an 8-day journey, tracking the Seven Sisters Songline from Iron Knob through to Atila and ending at the sacred Cave Hill site. Along the way, stops were made to learn relatable inma–song, dance and walka from significant cultural custodians. A key outcome of this deliverable is the development of a digital resource, which aims to better assist educators in teaching specific Aboriginal content in the classroom.
Amata Residency – Term 1 and 4 2019
During the Amata residencies children learnt about ancient Inma and Walka of the Seven Sisters Dreaming. Inma is the ceremonial song and dance that accompanies the Tjukurpa (Dreaming stories), and Walka, the body paint. Children also learnt the ancient art of Punu (traditional wood work) with renowned artist, Mary Pan. It is vital for the next generations to learn these art forms to ensure this ancient knowledge is not lost. The Inma, Walka and Punu residency at Amata was supported by Country Arts SA's Step Out Grant - Regional Arts Fund.
Pukatja (Ernabella) Residency – Term 3 2019
The Pukatja residency saw children working with claymation artist Jonathan Daw, to recreate the Seven Sisters Tjukurpa into contemporary children’s animations. Students took these ancient stories and have transformed parts of them into two visual Claymations of their imagining.
Mimili Residency – Term 4 2019
This residency saw Mimili School students working with contemporary music duo, Electric Fields, to transform ancient Inma songs into modern contemporary music tracks. The students worked with Electric Fields during a one week residency to workshop and record the Inma songs with Elders.
The various communities and artists involved in Tjitjiku Tjukurpa will come together in 2021 for a community celebration in Amata, where we will see a screening of the digital resource and Claymation videos, Inma performances by the children from Amata and a presentation of the contemporary song/s created by Mimili children and Electric Fields.
To ensure the Tjukurpa and project lives on, and is accessible for students to come, the projects contents are being currently produced into an educational and interactive website that teachers can use in the classroom.
If you or your organisation is interested in supporting high quality creative experiences for Aboriginal children and remote communities, we welcome you to get in touch to discuss further.
Lucy Markey, Senior Manager, Marketing & Development
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone 08 8230 1118 / 0411 106 257
Of the 145 Indigenous languages still spoken in Australia, 110 are critically endangered. The National Indigenous Language Survey Report, 2005.
Tjitjiku Inma, a significant Carclew project to assist conservation of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages and community stories, was delivered in outback South Australia.
In the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands, Carclew played a leading role in an inclusive effort to teach and record Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara ‘inma’ – traditional ceremonies told through community stories and dances.
Carclew has worked closely with Pitjantjatjara communities to create learning resources comprising of key inma. These tools (a book, DVD and CD) can be used by teachers, families and community leaders to assist in the learning process around these crucial cultural assets.
The project Tjitjiku (/chi-chi-ku/) Inma (loosely translated as ‘Children’s Ceremony’), was developed 7 years ago by Pitjantjatjara elders who were concerned that their stories were in jeopardy. Faced with modern cultural pressures, fewer Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara children were learning the Anangu language and without this language the inma was also being compromised.
Carclew has worked with Pitjantjatjara communities to reverse the decline, to help retain the traditional languages and inma within Indigenous communities and at the same time provide skills training for young Indigenous participants.
Tjitjiku Inma has involved 11 Pitjantjatjara communities and in excess of 500 Indigenous school students.
Importantly, this teaching effort is being supported by the state government education system, at schools in the communities and in metropolitan Adelaide. The children are also being encouraged to talk to their family members about the stories, so the whole community becomes involved.
As part of the project young people aged between 16 and 25 were employed to assist in the delivery of the project and provide translations for the DVD and book. A further 30 students from across the 11 participating communities participated in the recording and reporting of the project, acting as on-site translators and interacting with the elders.
This project is funded through Federal Government Closing the Gap, Remote Service Delivery and Indigenous Language Support programs.
Manager, Arts Programs
(08) 8267 5111